• New Rules For On-Time Performance

    Aviation regulator DGCA is preparing fresh guidelines for block hours, a yardstick for on-time performance, to remove disparity among various airlines. Block hours refer to the time taken by an aircraft to travel between cities. An airline’s on-time performance as well as facilities and financial compensation to a flyer in case of a delay are determined by block hours. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), which has been studying block hours from February 2016, has noted that the block hours differ from route to route, and from airline to airline. “Some airlines reported good on-time performance by showing additional block hours for a particular flight compared to same flights of competing airlines,” sources said. The ministry of civil aviation has tasked the DGCA with standardising the existing block hours for different routes. “We have been studying various routes for this purpose. The idea is to ensure that all airlines use the same block hours for the same route,” DGCA chief B S Bhullar said.

    Officials on the job said that traffic data of various airlines of the past five years has been collected, and is being analysed as part of the standardisation exercise. According to the sources, while the flying time between Delhi and Mumbai is approximately 1.28 hours, the block hours for the route stood at a maximum of 2.10 hours.

    “Some airlines show additional block hours, and because of this, they report before time, or on-time arrival despite departing late. That anomaly is being addressed by DGCA now,” said Air Passengers Association of India (APAI) president Sudhakara Reddy. Brian Dawkins Jersey

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